03/19/12 - Menendez and Kirk introduce Armenian Genocide resolution. ?It is time for the United States to join the nineteen nations including Belgium, Canada, France, Italy and the European Union that have formally recognized the actions carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 as genocide,? Senator Menendez said. ?The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact and was one of the incidents upon which the Genocide Convention was predicated. Only by accurately acknowledging the crimes of the past can we ever hope to move forward in a legitimate manner and prevent such human rights crimes from happening in the future.?
02/10/12 - Response received by RNK to an action alert about Azeri aggression ---
Dear Mr. Karakashian:
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for Nagorno Karabagh. I appreciate hearing your views on this important matter and having the opportunity to respond.
I believe it is important to support the people of Nagorno Karabagh as they mark the anniversary of their democracy movement. It is a movement that continues to fight for what is right, and I believe we must stand by our friends who have fought for the freedoms we cherish so much here at home. Please be assured I will work with my colleagues to ensure U.S. funding is as robust as possible in order to strengthen Nagorno Karabagh's democratic society.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have been a strong advocate for the South Caucasus and Armenia specifically. I have consistently introduced resolutions to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide. I have also closely scrutinized diplomatic nominees to ensure that they are as committed to our bilateral goals as I am.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. This issue is very important to me and I appreciate your support. I invite you to visit my website (http://menendez.senate.gov) to learn more about how I am standing up for New Jersey families in the United States Senate.
09/11 - Senators Menendez, Boxer, Risch vote against confirmation; Coons and Shaheen voice reservations over Amb. Ricciardone's nomination to be Amb. to Turkey.
07-26-2011SENATOR MENENDEZ CALLS FOR DELAY IN CONSIDERATION OF U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ARMENIA NOMINEE JOHN HEFFERN
07/20/11 - Statement submitted for the Congressional Record on Cyprus - Mr. President, on July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus . Thirty-seven years later, Turkish troops continue to occupy 37 percent of the island. The invasion and occupation resulted in the deaths of more than 5,000 Cypriots and made some 200,000 Cypriots refugees in their own land.
Since 1974, more than 75 resolutions have been adopted by the U.N. Security Council and more than 13 by the U.N. General Assembly, calling for the return of the refugees to their homes and properties and for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus . In addition to these Resolutions, the European Court of Human Rights has in various judgments held Turkey responsible for the violation of the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of Greek Cypriots, such as the right to life, the right to liberty and security, the right to respect for family life, the right to the protection of property and the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment.
Building on past meetings in November 2010 and January 2011, President Christofias again this month met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Eroglu in the presence of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Geneva, where they agreed to intensify discussions on the difficult ``core issues'' of the negotiations, including the sharing of power and authority between the two communities of Cyprus , territorial adjustments, property issues, and the issue of the withdrawal of foreign troops, security and guarantees. The Cypriot government is working in good faith to achieve a viable agreement and I remain supportive of the Cypriot government's insistence that this process remain a Cypriot-led process, with any solution agreed upon by the Cypriots and for the Cypriots, without any external arbitration or timeframes, while recognizing that a solution cannot be reached without the full and constructive cooperation of Turkey.
As Cypriot-Americans join with Cypriots from throughout the world in this effort to unify their homeland, and as they seek to secure an economically prosperous state free of illegal occupation, I will stand by them. I will work to ensure that the Turkish occupation comes to an end.
This week, we remember those who perished in the invasion of Cyprus , and honor those who survived and who continue to live under Turkish occupation. We have not forgotten and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.
Remembering together the events of July 20, 1974, in solidarity gives reverence to historical events we cannot afford to forget as we move forward to a peaceful, just solution and a hopeful tomorrow.
07/11 - Boxer and Menendez submitted questions to Amb. to Armenia nominee Heffern.
04/11 - At Capitol Hill commemoration, Menendez said that he does not believe in approving nominees who cannot simply recognize the Armenian Genocide as Amb. Evans did.
04/25/11 - Menendez Reflects on Genocide Remembrance Day.
1.5 million Armenians massacred at the hands of the Ottoman Empire between 1915-1923
WASHINGTON ? U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today released the following statement in honor of Genocide Remembrance Day and the 1.5 million Armenians who lost their lives at the hands of the Ottoman Empire nearly 100 years ago:
?During this time of remembrance, we pause in memory of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder by the Ottoman Empire,? said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. ?Although nearly 100 years have passed since the Armenian Genocide, time cannot erase the horror inflicted on the Armenian people. There is no statute of limitations for acts of genocide that compels us to move on -- in fact the reverse is true ? the act of genocide compels us to retell the story so that the world is reminded of the capacity of man to harm his fellow man. We are obligated to review, reflect and attempt to understand the circumstances that led to this tragedy so that in the future we can act to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.
On April 24, 1915, millions of Armenians were deported from the Ottoman empire, and the date has become to be known as Genocide Remembrance Day. Over the course of eight years, the Ottoman Empire massacred and continued removing Armenians from their homeland, where they had existed for 2,500 years. In 1915, the Allied Powers issued the joint statement of England, France and Russia that explicitly charged, for the first time ever, another government of committing 'a crime against humanity.'
03/02/11 - At SFRC hearing with Sec. Clinton, Menendez asked Why have we not used the law that we have passed? We have not sanctioned one non-Iranian company that has invested in Iran?s energy sector. The administration has yet to sanction a non-Iranian bank, despite the record that some TURKISH and some South Korean, Ukrainian, Chinese continue to deal with Iran?s financial institutions in violation of the law. What?s the status of those violations?
01/27/11 - Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) expressed concern, stating, ?I am disappointed by the Administration?s decision to recess appoint Matthew Bryza as U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan without addressing the concerns raised by Senators during his nomination hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ? chiefly his refusal to acknowledge the Armenian genocide.? Sen. Menendez continued, noting ?This is a matter of respect for the Armenian people. The Armenian genocide was one of the great atrocities of modern history and it is unconscionable that we would send a diplomat to the region who does not support recognizing what is considered among historians to be the first modern genocide. It is my fervent hope that Administration will adopt the comment made
by President Obama in 2008 that ?the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence? as a tenet of U.S. foreign policy to be reflected in the words and actions of our foreign service personnel in the region.?